A Creston resident with the desire to lend a helping hand to the homeless was able to do just that, with help from several local organizations.
Signe Miller, an active community-minded volunteer, came up with the idea to create hygiene kits and service brochures for local homeless people and transient workers who pass through town.
She was told by Cassandra Viers, a staff member at the Creston Valley Public Library, that their employees were overwhelmed with patrons asking questions about local services.
“People were coming to the library to use the WiFi or the bathroom, and while they were there, they were going to the front desk and asking for information on various things,” said Miller.
“So we decided to put together this brochure, and I volunteered to look up all the information.”
The Creston Valley Community Foundation provided a grant of $430 to put together the brochures and 50 hygiene kits.
“The foundation offers little emergency grants like that, usually of $500 or less,” said Miller. “They’re usually donor-designated grants, that means it doesn’t have to go through their granting process.”
With help from library staff, Miller designed the brochures with information such as a local map, where to buy clothes, locations of the public bathrooms, emergency numbers, as well as how to access food and housing services. The Creston Valley Public Library offered printing services for the brochures, paid for by the grant.
The brochures are available at the Creston Valley Visitor Centre, the local food bank (located at Gleaners), the Creston Valley Ministerial Association, and the library.
Each of the hygiene kits, available at the visitor centre and food bank, contains soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush. The Creston Hotel and Shoppers Drug Mart supported the project by providing the travel-sized hygiene items.
“I put little notices in all the public washrooms that say, ‘If you’re homeless or in need of supplies, here is where to go.’ People who are needing something immediately, I think it’s good to have a place they can go for help,” said Miller.
“Hopefully, anyone who needs it will take advantage.”
If you have a community-minded project in need of funding, check out www.crestonvalleycf.ca/grant-seekers for more information. The Creston Valley Community Foundation welcomes grant applications for projects focused on arts and culture, environment, social welfare and health, education, seniors, youth, and heritage.